TechCrunch’s Arrington Blocks Mommyblogger

That would be me.

I’m not kidding.

Remember all the stuff I was saying about how the women in tech are ignored? They are never asked to speak at conferences, entirely overlooked, blah blah blah blah blah? I think I also touched on how the big bad tech boys who are so-called ‘in charge’ of this whole blogging/social media space are frat boys?

Uh. Yeah.

Meet one Mr. J. Michael Arrington. Note that his Wikipedia says “Magazines such as Wired and Forbes have named Arrington one of the most powerful people on the internet.”

Today Arrington (for those who still don’t know, he’s the TechCrunch guy) blocked me on Twitter.


For this :

@techcrunch ummm @mashable just scooped you. Just sayin’. Sorry, old school Journalist in me notices these things

I had been watching Techcrunch (aka Arrington) twitter for the past hour about the possibility had been blocked in China. At last check, he said he had two confirmations and I was monitoring to see if it was true, and how it would be reported.

What do you want from me? This is what I did for a living-I LOVE breaking news.

Not long after a twitter from Arrington about having two confirmations CNN was blocked, Pete Cashmore of Mashable (a competitor) tweeted a link to the story they had posted on CNN.

Having watched the entire thing unfold -OF COURSE I showed Arrington he got scooped.

He responded with a tweet that has since disappeared and was here. So this non-techy Mommyblogger (who can’t possibly ever read TechCrunch) went and pulled it off of TweetScan:

TechCrunch : @QueenofSpain haha. scooped us on the story we’ve been talking about here on twitter for hours? we’re not covering that. oh yeah. blocked. 2008-04-18 02:50:40 Reply

My response (still in twitter, not randomly gone) was ” ROFL @techcrunch is cute with the blocking. Apparently censorship isn’t a big deal for them. kudos to @mashable for posting it”

Now on to the important part of all this…

The term ‘citizen journalist’ is yammered about a lot these days. Web sites like TechCrunch are discussing politics, they are reporting breaking business and technology news. They are influencing readers-a few million a month– (wow, not even as big as Dooce or BlogHer…just learned something tonight) and pushing themselves as an ‘all things tech news’ related site. They get cited for ‘breaking news’ and for ‘being the first’ yet when you actually call them out on having posted a story SECOND, they get pissy.

So it occurs to me that maybe Arrington, and some other web site owners, need to understand the very basic principals of Journalism, having very obviously skipped over it while en route to conquer the internet. Afterall, this so-called ‘citizen journalism’ is taking over the main stream media dinosaur. It is influencing news cycles and fueling on-air pundits. Therefore it seems to me these sites could use a few quick pointers on how to be responsible citizen journalists.

Mr. Arrington,

Hi, I’m Erin. We haven’t met. I get the feeling we may not meet now, but hey-I’m around if you want to chat. I also have a decent background not just in citizen journalism but in traditional journalism. Let me give you a quick J-school 101, so maybe next time you don’t get too uppity and block a Mommyblogger on twitter. K?

In traditional media it’s common place to be scooped or to scoop your competitor. In fact, its what the game is about. Eventually EVERYONE is running the story-what sets you apart is either the ‘exclusive’ (which I can explain in another blog post if you like) or being the FIRST. You will absolutely promote a story you post before anyone else (because man, sometimes getting confirmation is a bitch) and you will yell at your staff with a red face when someone else runs the story before you. Such is the life of a newsroom. And make no mistake, TechCrunch is a newsroom.

A couple other hints-if you are working on a story but it’s still not ready to publish, you might not want to discuss it on Twitter. Because later, after you’ve been scooped and you claim you were never going to post it anyway, we silly readers aren’t sure if we believe you or not. You’re either saving face, or all that past discussion on confirming if China was getting seems confusing and misleading. Hell, I don’t know…maybe you just were super curious for your own knowledge about China and it’s censorship of foreign news media. I know I am, so you’re not alone. Either way, sure looks like you were working on a story.

Also, when the entire world watches you discuss China, and sees a competitor posts the story, and points it out to you-you might not want to just silence them on the spot like some communist regime.

Oh, the irony.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve blocked a guy on twitter-but he actually physically threatened me and called me some very nasty names. If you go around blocking everyone who criticizes your cute little website, you may end up with a legion of yes-men (yes-tweets?) and lose touch with what’s happening around you.

In fact, you might even lose touch so very much that you have a party with a beauty blog, having really done nothing with the actual majority of women occupying this whole social media, blog, web 2.0 thing you keep reporting on.

In short, Mr. Arrington, it may serve you well to take a few cues from old school media. They might be an aging dinosaur, but they at least know how to handle getting scooped.

If anyone needs anything else, I’ll be reading Mashable. Pete is much more handsome anyway, and since it’s clear on the web all that matters are looks, I might as well subscribe over there.

*updated with a twitPic of Arrington’s Friend Feed from @snobcrunch

I Curse Jason Calacanis With 10 Daughters

My husband nearly fainted when we found out our second child was going to be a girl.

Dead silence on the other end of the phone.

Weeks earlier my OBGYN thought he saw a penis and the look of relief on my husband’s face told the true story. Everything is going to be ok, it’s a boy.

Then a checkup a few weeks later showed vulva, no penis, and terror struck. TERROR.

His fears included, but were not limited too: will she get knocked up at 16? Will I have to kill all the boys that like her? Will she be ugly, pretty, smart, stupid? To this day he’s hoping our striking daughter needs glasses, braces, and is covered in hair.

He thinks if she’s hairy, the boys won’t bother her. He would also prefer she be gay.

Why? Easy, he’ll tell you that he is a man. He knows men. He knows how he was at 13, 16, 19, 25, 35 and he wants his daughter to have nothing to do with any of it. Period. End of story.

What my husband fails to realize is he married ME. With any luck my strong, vagina-having, self will make sure my daughter is prepared for the boys, the body-issues, the confusion between what matters more: her mind or her looks.

Which leads me to yesterday, and the can of penis worms opened by one Mr. Jason Calacanis, and his search for a replacement for Veronica Belmont, host of Mahalo Daily.

I logged into Twitter to see several people had mentioned my name to Jason as a possible replacement. Hmmm, I thought. Must investigate more. I’m not exactly a Calacanis fan after his ‘make me the #1 twitter-er’ bribe, but had been willing to listen to all those who said he’s actually a decent guy.

So I checked it out-Veronica looks like she’s done some fun stuff with the videos, totally not techy (that I can tell) but entertaining. A few minutes into my snooping and Gary Vaynerchuk twittered that Jason was live on Ustream taking suggestions for a new host. I clicked on over. I’m not really sure I can accurately describe what I found, so let me just copy and paste my twitter stream:

QueenofSpain They are going over these girls based on looks-seriously. I don’t want ANYTHING to do with that crap. It would be an Erin SMACKDOWN

QueenofSpain and I love how they all just ASSUME any of these women are just DYING to get a call to work for @jasoncalacanis

QueenofSpain Am I wrong? Am I the only one who is watching this? Sad. Sad. Sad. And RIGHT THERE is the problem with women in tech. RIGHT THERE

QueenofSpain because the guys filling in, or the guy and @calacanis is such a HOTTIE? I mean, they must be, if they are on MAHALO VIDEO

QueenofSpain I love how that’s a requirement for the girls. @lons did you submit photos too?

QueenofSpain Ugh. I feel sick after watching that for too long. Olive branch totally taken back. I don’t give a crap what he’s done.

QueenofSpain @themacmommy hell no. Not a chance in HELL. I’ll stick with organizations that actually show a bit of respect.

QueenofSpain @GeekMommy don’t be. was a great education. seriously. I mean that. all that buzz about women in tech in the fashion section? yeah. i get it

Basically I tuned in to see Jason Calacanis and his ‘JasonNation’ look at photos, declare there shall be ‘no schlubs’ and discuss the hotness level of each candidate. Jason did stipulate the candidate must have brains (how nice) but needed to be easy on the eyes.

Let’s just review who I’m watching currently in and around the web, shall we?

Lon Harris is the current co-host of Mahalo Daily.

Robert Scoble

Jeff Pulver

Jason Calacanis

Shel Israel

Loren Feldman

Steve Garfield

Gary Vaynerchuk

Those are just off the top of my head, there are many more. Now let’s go ahead and guess how many of that group would have gotten to where they are if being ‘easy on the eyes’ were a requirement? Not all Brad Pitt up there on that list. Turns out, and it’s funny really-it is their CONTENT that matters.

I’m not sure if Jason Calacanis or anyone in that chat room (with the exception of Gary who is respectful and has proven himself as such) gets what they are doing when they make looks a requirement, when it’s clearly NOT a requirement for the men.

The only way I can possibly think of to make the CEO and ringleader understand is to curse him with 10 daughters.

5 super model daughters and 5 less than perfect daughters. I’d like him to see first hand the opportunities they are afforded, the heartbreak, and the double standards they face. I’d like him to feel the pain of his daughter as her brilliance in tech and web are overlooked for a less-intelligent woman with a better rack. I’d like him to watch as his beautiful daughter is paraded on a video blog to be masturbated to by 40year-olds in their mother’s basement. I’d like him to sit all 10 of them down on the Calacanis family couch and explain Daddy’s requirements for the next Mahalo Daily host.

Whomever you hire, Mr. Calacanis, I hope she’s qualified, brilliant, and kicks your ass.

Girly Geek Guilt

I’ve been in denial for a bit, but ok…fine: I’m a geek.

A total GEEK.

The blogging, the second life, the betas, the twitter.

It’s really NOT the core of who I am it is simply the tools I use to mouth off. So really, I’m just loud and using tech to be LOUDER.

By default that means I see and hear a lot of crap about that whole ‘girls don’t like science and tech’ bullshit that flies around our lives. I’ve seen the many, many, many examples of the very FEW number of women speaking at tech conferences. I’ve heard the arguments that we’re ignored and I’ve heard the arguments that we don’t pitch ourselves like the boys do.

I’ve found myself on BOTH sides of this debate wondering if it was maybe a little of both, a conspiracy by the patriarchy, and a lack of interest by women.

Nothing prepared me for reality.

Photos from the birthday party for my 5-year old and 3-year old this weekend.

Behold as this feminist geek gets to the bottom of what is really going on:

Galileo vs. Paris Hilton

I think that’s what the boys call-Epic Fail

It is not that I fault the gifts. They are exactly what my children wanted. It was that I realized how their preferences were splitting directly down those stereotyped gender lines.

It made me angry.

So let us all just put an end to what is going on in our tech/social media/web world when it comes to gender: It is all my fault.

Taking my pink laptop and going to bed.

So You Want To Talk To Mommybloggers…

I assume by now you’ve seen the bruhahaha? Yes? No?

Go look, I’ll wait.


So basically there are these big ‘ol corporations who are just salivating to get their money grubbing claws into women online. Oh, wait, I take that back-they are ignoring those of you who are childless, of color, breastfeeding, in need of childcare, lesbian, or anything other than Christian. Which leaves us with what-White. Straight. Jesus-Loving. Breeders.

White, straight, Jesus-loving breeders online are a big fucking deal. Apparently we’re the only ones who can communicate a message and influence other white, straight, Jesus Loving breeders to buy! buy! buy! buy! At least that’s the message I’m getting, you?

It’s a damn shame these companies, marketers, PR flacks and social media opportunists don’t actually READ the blogs of the Moms they target. They would learn an awful lot in a very short period of time if they did.

They would learn you might not want to ask the Mom with the newborn to ditch the baby and screw that whole breastfeeding thing to come try their products for a weekend. They would learn you might not want to ask the Jewish Mom to come celebrate Easter or say, attend an event during Passover.

Oy Vey is right.

But really, more than anything else, they would learn we have voices and our voices equal power. We can praise your product across the globe and make our friends buy it…OR we can trash it and ruin your reputation. It means we are…wait for it…real people. I know you marketing types are used to us just being a ‘number’ or a ‘demo’ but much like everything else in this world, real people can make a difference.

With that said, a little birdie I know was kind enough to give me a peak at the eMarketer Moms Online study. Want to hear my favorite part?

“It is important to be upfront. Tell mothers what you are doing and
that you value their opinion. Reward them with something
tangible. Use word-of-mouth and blog monitoring techniques to
track where mothers are discussing your brand and enlist their
help in promoting it.
Speak to mothers as more than just mothers. In a study of mothers
by Draft Worldwide, 34% said they are often offended by the way
that they are portrayed in advertising. More than 68% said they
would like to be spoken to as more than just a mother and 55%
said they would react more positively if marketers spoke to them
as a multi-dimensional woman, not just a mother.
For web sites aimed at mothers a sea change is under way.There
is still plenty of traction in sites such as BabyCenter, iVillage and
the online destinations linked to parenting magazines. However, a
business model based on published content from experts and
professional writers will be threatened by a new crop of sites built
from content that mothers supply themselves.

That emphasis up there is MINE. All mine. What did we all learn from this? (this is the part where all you PR/marketing types needs to sit up straight and pay attention): Do it how we want or we will do it ourselves.

That means you need to get touchy, feely and join our community and get to know us. I know, sucks for you huh. You have to engage us. You have to even learn to trust us, but more than that you have to make us trust you. And you’re not going to gain our trust if all we are to you is a statistic.

Scary proposition when a few tiny tweets the other day launched this discussion into overdrive.

Another important point that I alluded to above: Women control $.83 of every household dollar. That does not, necessarily, mean a household with children. You assumed it did, right?

Now you’re probably thinking to yourself here, how can I let my big corporation even think about talking to these incredibly influential, LOUD women? Easy (no, really it is) be human and use your brain. If you’re talking to Moms, understand they HAVE CHILDREN that need to be taken care of. If you want their time, their thoughts, their blog love-either pay for it or show them some good faith.

I’m not kidding.

We’re getting pitched all over the place. Just today Plain Jane Mom was telling me a story on Twitter:

I got an email asking me to join some sort of panel where they’d send me stuff to review every couple of weeks. I checked it out and the first thing I was presented with was a looong questionnaire full of things like ‘why do you think ….. you’d be a good fit for this panel? Tell us 5 ways you would work this panel into your life.’ And so on. Seriously? Ask me to be in this group, and then expect me to spend an hour telling you why you should ‘let’ me in? All for the privilege of giving you nearly free publicity on your new baby bibs? Fuck that.”

Fuck that, indeed.

I can’t speak for how these companies go about formulating these strategies to court bloggers, what I can tell you is what has worked for me, personally.

Recently I needed a new laptop and asked my friends via Twitter what I should get. Within a few hours I was speaking directly with Richard from Dell. He never pressured a sale, just asked me what I was looking for and made a few recommendations. He and his colleagues took the time to get to know me. And guess what? We had all been talking about other things like politics and conferences and parenting well before I needed a computer. They were already part of my community. People support their friends, their communities, be they actual or virtual. When I finally opened my wallet, you bet your ass I bought a Dell.

Customer service is not dead, in fact it’s key in this social media space. YOU need to be that friendly shopkeeper from back in the day who knows every customer’s husband and kids’ names and keeps a little something special behind the counter because she mentioned she likes pink accessories. THAT is what wins in social media today. THAT is what will have me yelling “I BOUGHT A DELL’ to the entire world. And hey-I PAID THEM FOR IT and they didn’t have to pay me anything to say it. Funny how that works, huh? Keep in mind it wasn’t all pretty either. I had shipping issues and Vista issues but the entire time the Dell Social Media guys and gals were around, helping, checking in, emailing, making calls. I talked about all of it in public and so did they. TRANSPARENCY.

Another company getting it right-Graco. I’ve chatting with Lindsay on Twitter, watched as they crafted a MOMblog that actually is written by Moms about things Moms write about. It’s not just product discussion. I’m thrilled to say the Graco blog, it’s bloggers, and the other people involved in the effort are part of our community. That’s right, they did it-we gave them the secret handshake and everything. Why? They’ve engaged bloggers in conversations, events, and they kept it REAL.

I really don’t think any of this is rocket science. I have no idea why many of you have turned it into rocket science. I can tell you, however, we’re happy to teach you more-but if there is one thing you’ve taught us is that we’re valuable. So if you want more, feel free to contact us about our consulting day rates.

What can I say-you started it.

Twitter Rocks-the Mix Tape*

This little labor of love began on a whim-as do most things I do, and turned into a fun twitter exercise.

I tweeted about needing some music, because I was just installing Itunes on my new Dell, and viola-a mix was born. My apologies to those who did not get their song suggestions included, once I asked, the @’s started coming quickly and I missed a few. Next time?

Without further ado, I give you Twiter Rocks! Available on Itunes.

Ain’t Too Proud to Beg, The Temptations- from Lars30, aka Larry, and since I was begging for suggestions this works. It also works because I LOOOOOVE me some Motown.
My War, Black Flag- from Maria Niles and really why aren’t you following her on twitter already?
Learn to Fly, Foo Fighters-also from Maria because well-she answered first and loudest and who can resist some Foo
Short Skirt/Long Jacket, Cake-the first suggestion by Aaron, aka technosailor who sucks at bowling, but he gets my extra puffy heart love for writing a great piece on Obama.
Jump, Jive an’ Wail, The Brian Setzer Orchestra-from Suebob who did suggest the Louis Prima version and I dropped the ball. However she does look sexy hot in her latest blog post (sue, not louis tee hee)
Town Called Malice, The Jam-from SoCalMom who I will see tonight. Maybe we’ll have a sing-a-long
I See You Baby, Groove Armada & Gram’Ma Funk -from ArsePoetica who if you are not reading, you’re an idiot-THAT is how strongly I feel about her!
I Love Rock ‘N Roll, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts-from Michelle I just learned is having a BOY-congrats!
I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), The Proclaimers-from Adele, have you seen her monsters? Go ask.
Sem Contençào, Bebel Gilberto-thank goodness Aresepoetica put something a bit ‘new’ to me in this list!
Kittens, Underworld-again, more Arsepoetica because much like Maria she came at me fast and furious with the suggestions
Southern Sun, Oakenfold-from babyspot-new twitter follower who joined the fun
Walking On Sunshine, Katrina & The Waves-and don’t it feel good? Thanks Maria and Victoria
Lips Like Sugar, Echo & The Bunnymen-from Arsepoetica who’s insight makes me feel more sane.
Buddy Holly, Weezer-from Michelle, did you know she *also* has a Mommyblog?
Virtual Insanity, Jamiroquai-Michelle again, but this one seemed a must.
Bullet the Blue Sky, U2-I admit this is one of my favorite songs of all time and would make my top 10 list. Glad the Diva suggested some U2
You Get What You Give, New Radicals-did I mention @MariaNiles used to work in the music industry?
Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, Michael Jackson- this one got our whole house up and dancing. I wish Mr. Jackson still made music like this, and wasn’t such a freak. From rockstar and PR killer Citymama
Let’s Get It Started, Black Eyed Peas-from Tojosan via DebRoby -nice teamwork kids
Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen-what? Maria loves him and I love Maria so it all works out
Dancing Queen, ABBA-I am disturbed at the number of you who suggested this song. Kimblahg, Kristy I’m looking in your direction.
September, Earth, Wind & Fire-another CityMama pick, the girl has damn fine taste in fun music
Don’t Stop Believin‘, Journey-because how can you not sing BORN AND RAISED IN SOUTH DEEETROOOOIT? Another Arsepoetica suggestion
Poison, Bell Biv DeVoe-they taught us never to trust a big butt and a smile and thanks to Redjade and Michelle and we can sing it loud and proud
Midnight Train to Georgia, Gladys Knight & The Pips -from my favorite feminist writer Victoria
The Underdog, Spoon- from Jenorama, who just taught me all about cool tea
I Get Along Without You Very Well, Chet Baker- Jeremy, PR guru, sent this one over. He’s the kind of guy you want to kick in the nuts from time to time, but still love him because he keeps it real.
Stupid Girl, Garbage-from Redjade-who’s photos rule, you should really go check them out
Old Time Rock and Roll, (by Bob Seger) Stan Werner-from Deb Roby and yes, I realize I downloaded the TOTAL wrong version but I’m thinking it makes it more interesting-no?
Girls, Girls, Girls, Mötley Crüe-Brendajos fault, blame her.
Your Love, Midtown-a final suggestion that came from Aaron as ‘anything’ off the Punk Goes 80’s compilation so I got to pick. I think I did good. Plus I tried to hijack his blog talk show yesterday and since I like pestering him seemed only fair I let him have a few songs.

Thanks Everyone!

*typing ‘mix tape’ makes me feel all warm and fuzzy in an 8th grade kind of way. Wondering if the boy I like will touch my boob after he listens…